Commission refers the rape conviction of James Dalby to the Court of Appeal

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the conviction of James Dalby to the Court of Appeal.

Mr Dalby pleaded not guilty to rape when he stood trial in the Crown Court at Swansea in August 2004. He was convicted on 16th August 2004 and sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. He appealed against his conviction, but that appeal was dismissed on 22 September 2005. He applied to the Commission on 30 November 2012.

The rape allegation was made in January 2004, at which stage the complainant was medically examined. The consultant who conducted the examination later gave evidence for the prosecution at trial, stating that the physical findings supported the allegation. The defence did not call any expert evidence at trial to contradict the prosecution’s expert. Mr Dalby denied all wrongdoing.

During its detailed review of the case, the Commission has explored new expert medical evidence. Two experienced experts have provided reports which are critical of the examination method and conclusions of the prosecution expert from trial. The Commission considers that the new expert opinion arguably undermines an important aspect of the prosecution case.

The Commission concludes that the new expert reports from medical experts give rise to a real possibility that the conviction will be quashed. Accordingly, the Commission has decided to refer the case to the Court of Appeal.


This press release was issued by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. For further enquires call 0121 233 1473 or e-mail

Notes for editors

  1. The Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice inEngland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based inBirmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
  2. There are currently 12 Commissioners who bring to the Commission considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
  3. The Commission usually receives around 1,500 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year.  Typically, around 3.5%, or one in 29, of all applications are referred to the appeal courts.
  4. The Commission considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made.  New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal.  Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.
  5. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.